United States v. Texas

809 F.3d 134 (5th Cir. 2015)


In June 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). DHS stated it should enforce the Nation's immigration laws against certain young people' and listed five 'criteria that should be satisfied before an individual is considered for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion.' In November 2014, by the 'DAPA Memo,' DHS expanded DACA by making millions more persons eligible for the program and extending 'the period for which DACA and the accompanying employment authorization is granted . . . to three-year increments, rather than the current two-year increments.' Unlawfully present aliens are generally not eligible to receive federal public benefits. Persons granted lawful presence pursuant to DAPA are no longer 'barred . . . from receiving social security retirement benefits, social security disability benefits, or health insurance under Part A of the Medicare program.' The grant of lawful presence removes the categorical bar and thereby makes otherwise ineligible persons eligible to qualify for benefits. Texas (P) has chosen not to issue driver's licenses to unlawfully present aliens. P maintains that documentation confirming lawful presence pursuant to DAPA would allow otherwise ineligible aliens to become eligible for state-subsidized driver's licenses. P contends that DAPA recipients would also become eligible for unemployment insurance. The states (Ps) sued to prevent DAPA's implementation. Ps asserted that DAPA violated the procedural requirements of the APA as a substantive rule that did not undergo the requisite notice-and-comment rulemaking. The district court held that P has standing. The court temporarily enjoined DAPA's implementation after determining that P had shown a substantial likelihood of success on its claim that the program must undergo notice and comment. On appeal, D maintains that the states do not have standing or a right to judicial review and, alternatively, that DAPA is exempt from the notice-and-comment requirements.